Disney CEO Bob Iger joins NFL stadium project in Carson, California

ByDarren Rovell ESPN logo
Wednesday, November 11, 2015

The company formed to bring the San Diego Chargers and the Oakland Raiders to a facility it's planning in Carson, California, announced Wednesday that -- if the NFL approves the plan -- Disney chairman and CEO Bob Iger would be responsible for hiring its president.

Carson Holdings, a joint venture formed this year by the Chargers and Raiders, named Iger its nonexecutive chairman.

Should the league allow the teams to move, Iger would hire the executive responsible for overseeing the day-to-day functioning of the $1.7 billion stadium that would be built on a 168-acre plot of land located 13 miles south of downtown Los Angeles.

"Should the owners approve the move, Los Angeles will proudly welcome two incredible teams to our community and build a stadium worthy of their fans," Iger said in a statement. "LA football fans will enjoy unprecedented access to games during the season, in a state of the art stadium designed to deliver the most entertaining, exciting and enjoyable experience possible."

The appointment won't affect Iger's job as chairman and CEO of Disney, and the contract between the two allows Iger to recuse himself in situations of conflict.

Iger's salary will be $1, but the agreement gives him a chance to purchase a small undisclosed stake in either team should he wish. Carson Holdings revealed that Iger, whose current term as Disney's top executive runs through 2018, has agreed not to exercise that option while he serves his current role with Disney.

"Bob Iger's inclusion as a the chair and the visionary force behind the Carson project is a game-changer," Carmen Policy, executive director of Carson Holdings, LLC, told the Los Angeles Times. "We now have the kind of leadership and expertise that should calm any concerns about any NFL teams going into L.A. and getting off on the right foot and pursuing the right course. And certainly if you're going to do two teams it really lends a layer of talent and experience, plus unbelievable know-how to the whole effort.

"Who could we get better to guarantee fan experience than the man who runs the happiest place on earth?"

The Times describes Iger's job as "the project's strategic leader, who provides a vision for what the stadium should look like, the fan experience, how fans get on and off the site, etc."

The stadium, should it be built, will be constructed by the city of Carson and leased by the teams through Carson Holdings.

In February, the Chargers and Raiders proposed building a $1.7 billion joint facility in Carson that would house both teams should they not get a stadium deal done in their home markets. The Carson project is in competition withSt. Louis Ramsowner Stan Kroenke's proposed $1.86 billion stadium project in Inglewood.

On Wednesday, city officials from San Diego, St. Louis and Oakland will be at NFL headquarters in New York to present updates to the owners' finance, stadium and L.A. Opportunities committees as to the current state of their commitments to keep the Chargers, Ramsand Raiders in their cities.

The Walt Disney Company is the parent company of ESPN.

ESPN.com Chargers reporter Eric Williams contributed to this report.

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